Should one day fill stadiums
Stage Invasion at Wu Lyf gig at Village Underground, London on June 17th 2011 - By Elinor Jones

Enigmatic members, cult underground followings, symbolic iconography, obscure acronym for a band name, and a sell-out show at Village Underground – you would think that we were talking about Odd Future, but we're not. Instead, Manchester four-piece Wu Lyf (World United/Lucifer Youth Foundation) play their second show in London, weeks after delivering their critically acclaimed debut LP ‘ Go Tell Fire To The Mountain’.

They open amidst a darkened stage, anchored by the band's incredible emblem of a bastardised cross illuminated in white. The haunting sound of a lonely church organ lulls us into solemn contemplation, before thundering drums and reverb-soaked guitars announce the party. Gravel-voiced frontman Ellery Roberts wails "I love you forever" as if his very life soul depends on us believing him. It's an expertly crafted moment of euphoria from opening track 'L Y F', which flits playfully between heavy gospel anthems and jaunty afro-beats, and is a perfect summation of everything that makes Wu Lyf so oddly captivating.

The fact that their media image is as carefully crafted as a Burberry commercial shouldn't detract from the ethereal music these four Mancunians produce as it's some of the most original going. Wu Lyf produce pop that inspires, that celebrates the nihilism of youth in humanistic terms. As they work their way through ‘ Go Tell Fire…’ (and they play it all), there is a genuine sense of transgression, of an heavenly connection between band and audience. Their encore of ‘ We Bros’ smashes down the invisible wall altogether, the stage being invaded by waves of delirious hipsters desperate to be a part of it, and for once, they are.

Wu Lyf may never live up to the hype they have so carefully managed, but that needn't matter. What is of importance is that they play emotive, original music that should one day fill stadiums the world over.

Words by Sascha Kenny
Photo by Elinor Jones

View a full accompanying photo gallery of Wu Lyf's gig on HERE.

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